It is no surprise that we are big fans of high-intensity interval training aka HIIT but we also understand that there is a right time and place for different types of workouts. Some people prefer a spin class while others prefer cycling on the open road. Some people prefer yoga while others love boxing. The multitude of different exercises offered all around the world is impressive and what can make working out so much fun. But what if we told you that your favorite exercise could actually have a negative effect on your body when it is already under stress?
Why Intense isn’t Always Best.
A common misconception is that exercise has to be intense in order to be effective, but that is not always true. If you are under stress daily or someone that runs on minimal sleep, the last thing your body needs is further stress from a workout that is stressful for your body. A light jog or a yoga class at the end of a long day can help calm your nervous system which promotes better sleep, while still strengthening your heart, lungs, and muscles.
What is LISS and Who Benefits from it?
These lower stress workouts are more popularly known as LISS. LISS stands for low-intensity steady state cardio, think of it more like moving meditation. Workouts that are classified as LISS are activities like walking, a light jog, swimming, or cycling, but at a controlled light pace. If you’re tracking your heart rate, you should aim for about 40% – 55% of your estimated maximum heart rate to sit in the LISS zone. Think of it this way, the pace should be a pace at which you can comfortably carry on a conversation with someone, and your breathing and heart rate are only slightly elevated. LISS is great for those that are starting out on a regular exercise routine, someone recovering from illness or injury or a pregnant female. And for anyone trying to include some low impact workouts into their regimen.
Just like your diet, it’s important to mix up your workout routine to keep your body guessing. Plus, each type of training brings its own benefits to the table. Ideally, you should aim for a mixture of low, moderate and high-intensity cardio exercise throughout the week, but you know your body best and make sure you listen to your body to find out more of what it is needing day after day. Plus, it is a good idea to consult your doctor for activity changes in your life.